Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bar Bambino - Mama Mia!

Stupid title, I know. I'm tired today!!!

Bar Bambino is a new wine bar/restaurant in the Mission district of SF. Many of you may know that the mission is my favorite place to wine and dine, so when I heard of this place opening I immediately scheduled a date with another lawyer galpal to hit it up.

Located at 16th and Mission, it is not really an ideal part of the neighborhood for an upscale wine bar. For example, it is across the street from burger king. However I am of the mind that one restaurant can change a neighborhood, and it is right next to the bart station, so bravo Bar Bambino for picking this location.

The inside is very european - tiny tables, lots of people smooshed together, but its a fun atmosphere. P. and I were seated shortly after arriving on a Tuesday, though I imagine it is a lot busier on weekends. It was still packed the whole time we were there.

I started off with a glass of La Braccesca Rosso di Montepulciano Sabazio2004 Toscana. I wish I could tell you what this is, but I have no idea. I got it because I liked the name. Turns out it was a great choice - very bright, fruity, but also smooth. It didn't have much of a bite to it, which I prefer. I had two glasses over the course of the night and put it on my list of things to buy a bottle of sometime soon.

Next we moved on to eats. We started with a little plate of delicious olives. Both green and black, they were marinated until soft and served warm, covered in herbs and really flavorful olive oil. They were absolutely delicious.

Next we had a bruschette - huge slices of grilled bread covered in more of that olive oil, and served with a fresh salad of chopped-up heirloom tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Oh man. This was so simple and SO good - the combo was just the perfect summer meal. It was so good that I went home and re-created it for dinner the next night using tomatoes from my garden. Seriously delicious.

We moved on to Polpette di melanzane - Small balls of eggplant, pine nut with a touch of raisin; finished in a light tomato sauce. This was a dish Michael Bauer raved about in the Chron, which was why we ordered it. It was really good but I didn't think it was served hot enough. The little balls were very tasty though; this is on my list of things to try and re-create at some point.

We finished off our meal with a cheese plate. Unfortunately I can't tell you what we had because we just let the cheese dude pick it out for us, but they have an extensive cheese list, and you can create your own plate of 2/3/4 cheeses for a pretty reasonable price. They served it with more grilled bread and a chutney - very good. We also split a dessert, which was unlike anything I have ever had. It was a strawberry shortcake - but it was actually a dense shortbread cookie, with strawberry glaze and fresh whipped cream. VERY good and the perfect end to this meal. We washed it down with a lovely glass of Moscato d'Asti - the best I've had outside of my monthly wine dinners.

All in all it was a really nice meal. I like the ambiance at this wine bar much better then the crowd at District, and they serve more substantial food than at Yield or Hotel Biron. I will definitely be back there soon.

Food - (3.25)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Experience - (3.25)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Total - (3.25)Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Cara mia, Bar Bambino!

- Emilia

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